By Paul Gable
The name of S.C. Rep. Alan Clemmons (R-107) keeps popping up in discussions and polls connected to the upcoming mayoral election in Myrtle Beach.
There has been no word from Clemmons, official or otherwise, that we know of at this point, but where there’s smoke, there’s often fire.
That Clemmons would be a logical candidate makes political sense. He is a native of Myrtle Beach who has represented House District 107 since it was created prior to the 2002 elections. Much of his district is located within the city limits of Myrtle Beach, so a large voting base is already used to casting ballots for him.
With one more year remaining on his current term in the House, Clemmons can run for mayor and not give up his District 107 seat unless he wins. Win or lose he would remain in office.
On a personal level, the mayor position would mean a significant pay raise for Clemmons. The mayor’s pay will rise to $50,000 per year beginning in January 2014. Not having to be in Columbia four days per week for five months per year would also give him more time at his law practice.
But, maybe the real kicker here is history.
Incumbent mayor John Rhodes has announced he will run for a third term. Third terms are a tough hurdle for Myrtle Beach mayors.
Over the last 50 years, only one, Bob Grissom, was successful in a third consecutive term bid and he lost when he tried for a fourth consecutive term (puppet cartoons anyone?).
Two others, Mark Garner and Mark McBride, both lost third term bids while Eric Ficken quit after two terms and Bob Hirsch was happy with a single term in office.
For now, however, Rhodes is the announced candidate while Clemmons has made good showings in recent polls.